コビル アリフ助教、公募班・九州大学井上大介助教らの論文がScience Robotics誌に掲載されました。
Living organisms utilize ‘cooperation’ as a useful strategy to execute complex tasks in groups in a more efficient manner than the discrete entities. In this study, we demonstrate cooperative task accomplishment by employing swarms of kinesin-propelled microtubules, a biological molecular machine. Microtubulesload and deliver cargo to a designated location through swarming and dissociation respectively. Swarming of microtubules and loading of cargo is achieved upon visible light irradiation, whereas dissociation of swarms and delivery of cargo is realized by shining the transporters with ultraviolet light. Such photo-regulation has been enabled by the light-controlled interaction between photo-responsive DNA attachedto the microtubules. The swarms of microtubules facilitate transport of large numbers and large-sized cargo over long distances, which is insurmountable for the individual microtubules. Moreover, if loading of cargo to a carrier is unsuccessful on any instance, surrounding swarms can support to load and deliver the cargo in an efficient manner. This work demonstrates a transport system using swarms of micrometer-sized, self-propelled molecular machines that can deliver cargo to a designated place in an efficient and robust manner. The results will pave a new route to construct task-sequencingmolecular swarm robots with advanced functionalities.